THE routes for the 2017 Santos Tour Down Under have been announced in Adelaide, South Australia.
The six main stages continue to use the city of Adelaide as the base and main backdrop of the UCI event, which may help push spectator numbers past the 795,000 people who lined the streets in 2016.
The week-long race, which is the biggest cycling event outside of Europe, begins on January 14, 2017 at the team presentations in the tour village built in the main square of Adelaide.
A 50km warm-up race is held on Sunday, January 15 on a city street circuit ahead of the main event’s first stage on Tuesday, January 17.
The 145km Hostworks Stage 1 race will begin with a neutral phase from the inner-city suburb of Unley up the capital’s main King William thoroughfare before the race to the Barossa wine region starts in earnest in the city’s northern suburbs.
Race director Mike Turtur said the race routes were developed with all the riders in mind.
“Year on year there is the challenge to develop race routes that are competitive for the riders to create a balance the stages to suit sprinters, climbers or all rounders,” he said.
Hill climbers will face the steep climb up Gorge Road during Stage 2 between Stirling and Paracombe, a road the cyclists descended at last year’s event, as well as the famous Willunga Hill during the ride through the vineyards and coastline of McLaren Vale in Stage 5.
Turtur said Stage 3 from the beach suburb of Glenelg to the coastal town of Victor Harbor would test the sprinters.
“We expect Stage 3 to be a day for the sprinters with the new 13km finishing circuit in Victor Harbor,” he said.
The 2016 event was won by ORICA-GreenEdge rider Simon Gerrans, a four-time Tour Down Under champion.
The 19th staging of the Tour Down Under will once again include the UCI-endorsed Santos Women’s Tour between January 14 and 17, which drew big crowds in 2016.
Saturday 14 January 2017 – Team Presentation, Victoria Square
Sunday 15 January 2017 – People’s Choice Classic, Wakefield Street Circuit, 50.6km
Monday 16 January 2017 – Rest Day (for men’s racing)
Tuesday 17 January 2017 – Hostworks Stage 1, Unley to Lyndoch, 145km
Wednesday 18 January 2017 – Staging Connections Stage 2, Stirling to Paracombe, 148.5km
Thursday 19 January 2017 – Stage 3, Glenelg to Victor Harbor, 144km
Friday 20 January 2017 – Bupa Stage 4, Norwood to Campbelltown, 149.5km
Saturday 21 January 2017 –Bike Exchange Stage 5, McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill, 151.5km
Sunday 22 January 2017 – Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6, Adelaide Street Circuit, 90km